This week on Good Morning Atlanta, James Watson of Village Capital joins Dana and Elizabeth in the studio to talk about building enterprises that change the world. Connections to sources of funding, mentoring, even meeting some of Atlanta’s finest entrepreneurs themselves – Village Capital has 15 companies going through a 10-week program, and James tells all about it.
Village Capital will make seed investments in two companies in the cohort. The program wraps up next week with a big event Thursday night at Manuel’s Tavern, where two enterprises will get $50,000 investment, with a twist: the entrepreneurs themselves will pick the winners. The participants have gotten coaching and mentorship from Atlanta’s top entrepreneurs, ranging from Arthur Blank to Chef Linton Hopkins.
Enterprises are doing great work in local agriculture (Local3 does wholesale food production from Georgia farms); sustainability (ViaCycle is a ZipCar for bicycles); education (Excelegrade provides a web-based solution for paper tests and is heavily involved in education reform), and more.
The organization was started as an arm of Gray Ghost Ventures and has now launched 13 programs worldwide supporting over 250 entrepreneurs. Find out more at http://www.vilcap.com
James Watson is the Program Director for Village Capital in Atlanta. James also teaches Entrepreneurship, Accounting, Economics, and Mathematics at a private high school in Atlanta, and recently completed Level 3 of the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) program. He graduated from the University of St Andrews in Scotland with a BSc (Hons) in Mathematics, and upon graduation was awarded the Bobby Jones Scholarship for postgraduate study at Emory University.